As usual, these last months have been pretty intensive in Kuterevo bear refuge. From Spring till now, and especially during “crazy summer time”, many motivated volunteers have come to help the project, many visitors have come to see and learn about the bears , and so many things happened every day that we’ve not taken time to write some news on this blog 🙂 We’ll try now to sum up a bit 🙂
Spring was already busy with two international workcamps, many individual volunteers, and lot of work to do for the new enclosures for the bears. With summer came more and more people, especially scouts from Belgium and France. Most of July and August were spent working for the new enclosures, as much as weather allowed us to do so… If few weeks were nice and hot, this summer weather was unexpectedly rainy and cold, which is not normal here… Summer was not really summer, like last winter was not at all a winter… and more and more we can see that something is definitively wrong with the climate… or people?
Anyway, under the hot sun or with rain jackets, volunteers were digging hard, cutting branches and bushes, making the foundations for the the fence… And through weeks and weeks of work, we saw the new pool taking shape, as a den and tunnels for the bears 🙂 Latest in Spring, two bears from Split Zoo will be able to use the newest enclosure, which is being built thanks to volunteers and Foundation Vier Pfoten.
But volunteers do not come only for helping the bears. As always, and as one of the main idea of the project, people come here to learn, share, enjoy, discover… Thus, the summer was punctuated by many activities. Movie projections, games in the forest, story telling around the fire, hikes in National Parks, visits to local people…
And once again we celebrated “Karmenica”, Kuterevo village celebration, by joining the procession in the village and few evenings with local community, but as well with some special activities and workshops for volunteers 🙂 We had some very special moments, like a big gathering of volunteers around a big camp fire at Kopija for a bear story telling evening. We’ve been for few years trying to collect tales and legends about bears from all around the world, and with so many volunteers it was perfect opportunity to share some inspiring stories under the stars and to invite everyone to do so 🙂
Another great time was the cooking competition organized a rainy day, when all groups met the challenge to cook vegetarian meal only with local and seasonal vegetables and on open fire! That was a very nice experience for everyone, opportunity to reflect about food, where it comes from and what can we choose to eat or not… and we really enjoyed our meal 🙂
Part of the work this year was as well strongly related to education, with the preparation of a new educational trail (Following on the footsteps of European Brown Bear)* where visitors will soon be able to learn more about bears. Artistic volunteers worked as well on new murals and painting exhibitions, hoping to inspire visitors with their “bear art” 🙂
Summer ended, but not volunteer time and hard work 🙂 September, October and even now, the volunteer’s station has been full of life with many international volunteers joining us for short time and helping a lot. And even if we can see and feel more and more that winter in coming, we are still using all sunny days to try to finish the new enclosure as soon as possible!
Thanks to all 2014 Kuterevo volunteers, and hope that you will keep Kuterevo spirit with you!
*Educational trail is supported by the Rufford Foundation